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The AFAR Guide to Mali

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Djenne, Mali
This is the Grand Mosque in Djenné, Mali. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it holds the distinction of being the largest adobe building in the world. It is also one of Africa’s most famous cultural heritage landmarks. The walls of the Grand...
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Bankass, Mali
Centuries ago, the ancient Tellem people of Mali built their mud homes high up on a cliff ledge on the Bandiagara escarpment. When I first saw the Tellem cliff dwellings, I was at ground level looking up at them; they looked like several rows of...
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Endé, Mali
Not that long ago, I was on a 5 day trek through the Dogon villages in Mali and every day I would pass by groups of villagers who, from the looks of it, had just congregated together to sell and trade food and goods. In every market space, I would...
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Mali

In this small town in Mali:

There are no hotels but a friendly local may offer you a free place.

Everyone sleeps outside with the cool breeze because the concrete houses retain too much heat from the hot dusty days.

Children stay up late to...

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Bankass, Mali
Kani Kombolé leaves you with the memory of an oasis. The main site of the village sits surrounded by millet, baobab and tamarind trees. At the right time of year the village has a fairly spectacular waterfall. A walk through to the west side of...
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Bandiagara, Mali
In the Dogon village of Songho, every three years, the boys are circumcised. The boys are usually around 8-12 in age and so this is an event that they will remember for the rest of their lives. Their proud families trek up the hillside to this...
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Mopti, Mali
Mali is bustling with history and culture. If you're heading into Dogon country, see if you can find out when Mopti is doing a mask dance. We stumbled upon this even by dumb luck, and it was one of the high points of the trip. I think the kids in...